RESULTS: Malaysian Grand Prix – Race results
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton is right to question Mercedes after his 2016 F1 title hopes were dealt a major blow by more costly technical issues.
Hamilton looked on course for his seventh win of the season in the Malaysian Grand Prix when he suffered a rare failure of the Mercedes power unit with 16 laps remaining.
POINTS: F1 World Championship Standings after the Malaysian GP
Though his first DNF of the season for technical reasons, it nonetheless comes after gremlins early in the season during practice and qualifying sessions contributed to a compromised run of race results that at one stage left him 43 points adrift of team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Whilst he would go on to bridge that gap before the summer break, three straight wins for Rosberg had already seen him move back ahead prior to Hamilton's retirement in Sepang, one that leaves the Briton 23 points adrift with only five races of the season remaining.
With Hamilton bemoaning the tendency for reliability problems to strike his side of the garage rather than Rosberg's, Mercedes boss Wolff says he doesn't take the criticism personally, adding the three-time champion is right to be disappointed with the team.
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“This is a mechanical sport and it's a very unfortunate coincidence that things happened like this,” Wolff lamented. “For me, it's like six times red in roulette at the casino. It's been really bad for him and for the team, I have no words and I am gutted in the same way.
“If you were in the lead of that race and you were just about to get back in that championship and your engine blows up and someone puts a microphone in front of your face, he is allowed to say whatever he wants. This is the emotion and completely understandable.
“Each of us would express his frustration in different ways. And there is no explanation, we came together afterwards and sat down and said “how is this possible?”. It's a freaky situation that has no rational explanation and I think after recovering a bit he will just see that, but in the heat of the moment that's no problem.”
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